Burkittsville in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Houses of Worship Become Houses of Misery
—Antietam Campaign 1862 —
Twenty-year-old Henrietta Biser gasped when she saw the church pews strewn in the front yard and “a pile of amputated limbs lying just inside the door of the church. Blood was running...over the floor...and things were torn to pieces.” Henry M. Wiener remembered amputations being conducted in the church and “seeing blood on...the walls of the church.” Wounded Union and Confederate soldiers lay on the floor, their seeping blood ruining the carpet, until straw was brought in. When it became soaked, it was pitched outside and replaced with cots.
The red brick St. Paul’s Lutheran Church also served as a hospital, and the Reformed Church parsonage, which stood between the churches, may also have served a medical function. The Henry McDuell farm north of town was Hospital A.
The hospitals operated until January 1863, when the remaining patients were transferred to Frederick. The soldiers who died in Burkittsville were temporarily interred in the town cemetery. The Federals were removed to the Antietam National Cemetery in 1867 and the Confederates to Hagerstown’s Washington
Hospital D stands as a reminder of the misery and destruction the Antietam Campaign brought into the heart of this quiet town.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 23.621′ N, 77° 37.753′ W. Marker is in Burkittsville, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of East Main Street and Potomac Street (Maryland Route 17), on the right on East Main Street. Touch for map. On the grounds of the Resurrection Reform Church. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3 East Main Street, Burkittsville MD 21718, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Forces (approx. 0.4 miles away); Burkittsville: Henry Burkitt’s Town (approx. 0.7 miles away); Chew’s Ashby Artillery (approx. 0.7 miles away); “Sealed With Their Lives” (approx. 0.7 miles away); Gath's Empty Tomb (approx. 0.9 miles away); Mausoleum (approx. 0.9 miles away); GATH: The Man and His Mountain (approx. one mile away); Brownsville Pass: Semmes’ Gamble (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Burkittsville.
More about this marker.
The second photo is a portrait of the VI Corps Surgeon James D. Robinson who ran Hospital “A”. Photo from National Archives via Timothy J. Reese.
Also see . . .
1. Burkittsville Walking Tour. Yes, Burkittsville received attention more recently as the setting for the movie "The Blair Witch Project." (Submitted on July 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Official City Walking Tour. Includes a map PDF for download. (Submitted on July 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
3. Civil War Medicine. Short history of Civil War medical procedures, including the evolution of field hospitals. (Submitted on July 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
4. The Ghosts of Burkittsville. Movies aside, the town does have its share of legends and lore some of which are linked to the hospitals and the battle. (Submitted on July 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
1. The Hospitals
As detailed in the marker, Hospital A was the Henry McDull Farm originally standing to the north of town. The St. Paul's Lutheran Church was Hospital B. Hospital C was the parsonage for the German Reformed Church. And Hospital D was the German Reformed Church itself. President Abraham Lincoln visited the hospitals in Burkittsville after the Battle of Antietam.
— Submitted July 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
Additional keywords. Antietam Campaign 1862
Categories. • Churches, Etc. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,116 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.